|Atlantic County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard
Mitigation Planning Project
What is Hazard Mitigation?
Natural hazards have the potential to cause property loss, loss of
life, economic hardship, and threats to public health and safety. While
an important aspect of emergency management deals with disaster recovery
those actions that a community must take to repair damages and make
itself whole in the wake of a natural disaster an equally important
aspect of emergency management involves hazard mitigation. Hazard mitigation
measures are efforts taken before a disaster happens to lessen the
impact that future disasters of that type will have on people and property
in the community. They are things you do today to be more protected
in the future. Hazard mitigation actions taken in advance of a hazard
event are essential to breaking the typical disaster cycle of damage,
reconstruction, and repeated damage. With careful selection, hazard
mitigation actions can be long-term, cost-effective means of reducing
the risk of loss and help create a more disaster-resistant and sustainable
What is a Hazard Mitigation Plan?
A Hazard Mitigation Plan is a well-organized and well-documented evaluation
of the hazards that a jurisdiction is susceptible to, and the extent
to which these events will occur. Hazard Mitigation Plans identify
an area's vulnerability to the effects of the natural hazards typically
present in a certain area, as well as the goals, objectives, and actions
required for minimizing future loss of life and property damage as
a result of hazard events. The primary purpose of mitigation planning
is to systematically identify policies, actions, and tools that can
be used to implement those actions.
Purpose and Need for the Plan
Hazard mitigation plans are developed BEFORE a disaster strikes. The
plans identify community policies, actions, and tools for long-term
implementation to reduce risk and potential for future losses. Adopted,
implemented and maintained on an ongoing basis, these plans will gradually,
but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events in Atlantic
As of November 1, 2004 communities that do not have a FEMA-approved
hazard mitigation plan in place are no longer eligible for FEMA project
grant monies under programs such as the Flood Mitigation Assistance
Program (FMA), Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and Pre-Disaster
Mitigation Grant Program (PDM).
Jurisdictions located within Atlantic County who wish to be recognized
by FEMA as being compliant with DMA 2000 must either: (a) participate
with the County in the multi-jurisdictional plan development process
and formally adopt the final plan, or (b) prepare their own hazard
Elected and appointed government officials, business leaders, volunteers
of non-profit organizations, citizens, and other stakeholders have
been invited to participate in our multi-jurisdictional plan development
process as part of our Atlantic County Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning
Committee (the "Planning Committee").
Citizens of Atlantic County will have the opportunity to participate
by attendance at the various public meetings. The dates of these meeting
will be posted on the Atlantic County web-site
Active participation in the process is the only way a jurisdiction
can be seen in FEMA's eyes as a 'participating jurisdiction' that has
met the requirements of DMA 2000 and is therefore eligible to apply
for Federal funds for hazard mitigation projects. Participation includes
attending meetings, providing feedback and reaching out to the public
and other key stakeholders in the community, and adopting the final
The hazard mitigation planning process will be conducted over the course
of approximately one year, beginning in the Summer of 2008. Key steps
of the process include:
While natural disasters cannot be prevented from occurring, the continued
implementation of our hazard mitigation plan over the long-term will
gradually, but steadily, lessen the impacts associated with hazard events
in our county.
- Research a full range of natural hazard events.
- Identify the subset of significant hazards; these will be the focus
of the plan.
- Identify the location and extent of hazard areas.
- Identify assets located within hazard areas.
- Characterize existing and potential future assets at risk by analyzing
land uses and development trends
- Assess vulnerabilities to the identified hazards.
- Identify local, state, and Federal capabilities that support hazard
- Develop a mitigation strategy by evaluating and prioritizing goals,
objectives, and hazard mitigation actions.
- Adopt the plan.
- Implement the Plan and monitor its progress.